Three Kentucky police officers and a police canine were killed and at least four other officers were hurt in a shootout at a home of what cops called a “terrorist on a mission.”
Lance Storz, 49, was taken into custody after an almost five hour standoff with officers who had showed up at his door in rural Prestonsburg with a warrant for his arrest in a domestic violence incident, according to reports.
Storz, who was armed with a rifle, opened fire and hit two officers in the Thursday evening incident, Kentucky State Police said.
Prestonsburg Police Capt. Ralph Frasure and Deputy William Petry were killed, along with one Sheriff’s K9 named Drago and a police department Canine Handler named Jacob Chaffins, authorities said.
The situation escalated quickly, as Storz barricaded himself inside the home with his wife and daughter and kept firing at responding officers, cops said.
The deputies called for backup and several agencies responded, including state police, officers from neighboring counties and a SWAT team.
“They encountered… pure hell when they arrived. They had no chance,” Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt told reporters. Deputies had not even made contact with the suspected shooter when the gunfire began, he noted.
The shooter apparently had a plan and “pretty much executed that plan almost to precision,” Hunt said, adding it took several hours to figure out where the gunman was firing from.
“(The suspect) was a sheer terrorist … he was just a terrorist on a mission,” the sheriff said.
Floyd County Attorney Keith Bartley said Friday morning: “These are human beings. These are people with children, spouses, moms and dads, their world will never be the same.”
The standoff ended with the suspect being taken into police custody, WMDJ reported. His wife and daughter were unharmed.
One deputy who took cover under a running patrol vehicle ended up with carbon monoxide poisoning.
Multiple officers from different agencies were shot and brought to local hospitals. Four to six officers were shot in total, according to local reports.
Storz, who is in jail in Pike County, is next due in court July 11.